Grand Traverse Ski Club

GTSC Coaches

Christine Zoutendyk
2016 Interim Director of Coaches

Traverse City is my home town and I grew up on the west-side of town walking to Willow Hill Elementary. I spent my winter’s at Hickory Hills skiing with GTSC and hiking the Olson’s fields in the off seasons. I feel very fortunate to have grow up with Hickory Hills in my backyard.

I attended Traverse City Central High School and was on the High School Ski Team. I was a 3 time Varsity letterman and we won 3 straight State Ski Championships. I also raced USSA on the weekends & spent a few summers on Mt. Hood in Oregon. I spent time in Oregon to get extra time on the snow in the summer because it is a glacier and Ski Teams from around the World train there in their off seasons too. Once I graduated from High School, I moved to Government Camp on Mt. Hood in Oregon to be a camp counselor & worked as a ski technician during the winters for Timberline Lodge.

After four years in Oregon between Mt.Hood, Eugene, Bend, I did a 180 and moved to the Hampton’s on the north-end of Long Island New York. I attended the State University of New York SUNY and studied Fine Arts & Art History. While between semesters I came back to Traverse City for a vacation to see my family; after spending a few weeks with my family on the Old Mission Peninsula I realized how much I had missed it and decided to move back home. When you grow up in such a beautiful place you really take it for granted, even after living in other beautiful places in the United States.

I started coaching for Grand Traverse Ski Club in 1998 and received my 1st Level 1 with USSA, while I studied for my first degree in Visual Communications at NMC. In 2003 I moved to Alden on Torch Lake. In my free time from Short’s Brewing Company, I coached for Antrim Ski Club, Ski Instructed for Shanty Creek Resorts and received my Level 1 with PSIA. I returned back to the Grand Traverse Ski Club in the winter of 2009 and received another Level 1 with USSA in 2014. 2015 was my sweet 16th year coaching and I graduated from NMC with my 2nd degree in Visual Communications. I’m currently a freelance designer and I own my own business called De Z Designs which that keeps me busy in the off season. I’m also a Master Gardner and personal gardener for some of the most beautiful homes in the surrounding area!

My passion is to give back the gift of skiing, a gift someone gave me so many years ago. I realized long ago that skiing is one of the best family sports, something families can do together and it can take them on adventures to amazing places! It is an honor and a privilege for me to work with so many amazing families and ski coaches. I watch these kids grow up way to fast, at this special place in my heart called Hickory Hills.

Austin Johnson
Head USSA Coach

Austin was born and raised in Traverse City Michigan. He learned to ski right at Hickory Hills and raced with GTSC. Austin raced Nor Am and FIS races. He is an avid mountain biker.

Skiing Since: 1989
Competitive Skiing: 15 years
Ski Coaching: Since 2007
Certifications: CPR, USSA Level 200

Morgan Johnson

Morgan was born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan, where she learned her love for skiing at Hickory Hills at the age of two. She attended Traverse City West where she raced USSA and won two State Championships. Proceeding high school she attended Central Michigan University where she received her BSBA in Hospitality Marketing and Management. This will be Morgan’s sixth year with Grand Traverse Ski Club, outside of the club she has coached in Austria with local athletes for the past five years with EuroCustom and Austin Johnson.

Outside of skiing you can find Morgan doing most things that involve being active, from mountain biking, road biking, running and traveling she loves it all. She is also a key component to the local mountain bike race, Conquer The Village, which raises money to help the Preserve Hickory Foundation.

Bruce Anderson

Bruce started instructing in 1977 at an all rope area called Apple Mountain. He has instructed throughout the years at Lansing Ski Club, Cannonsburg, and Crystal Mountain. He received his PSIA certification in 1978 at Sugarloaf. Bruce looks forward to having a great time at Hickory with athletes and families.

Nick Browning

Nick is originally from Traverse City Mi, and attended High School at Traverse City West and currently attends Northwestern Michigan College. Nick has lots of experience skiing and ski racing and joined Win Alpine racing when I was a J4, did junior Olympics in Steamboat and Winter Park. Nick has earned a USSA level 100 certification and this is his 9th year coaching with GTSC. When not skiing, Nick enjoys making music and studying, he is finishing his degree in CIT Infrastructure this spring.

Beth Craven

Beth is from Brighton Michigan. She Attended Michigan State University and earned a Master’s degree in education, undergrad in kinesiology. Beth’s skiing racing experience includes racing USSA in high school and ski raced for Michigan State University. After college Beth was an Assistant coach at Brighton high school and then assistant coach at Traverse City West High School. Beth has coached with the Grand Traverse Ski Club in various capacities and with our USSA. Beth also enjoyed race coaching with eurocustom in Austria for November training. Her certifications included Level 200 USSA certification, including first aid and CPR. When Skiing she love to ski powder, especially Utah powder! When she’s not on the hill you can find her on her mountain bike competing at the pro/elite level. Beth has two children, Madalyn and Elle, whom she loves having daily adventures with.

photo (4)

Brad Miller
Started Alpine Racing at Clare High School
Pro racing : Two events
Certifications: Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA), Alpine and Telemark level 3, CS level 2,
Alpine and Telemark Education staffs. Former member of the PSIA National children’s task force.

Head Coach Suttons Bay
Head Coach Traverse City Central
Head Coach Traverse City Saint Francis
Member of the Michigan HS Ski Coaches Hall of Fame


Katie Clark

  • Traverse City West Sr High (2010), Wellesley College (2014) BA in Japanese Language and Literature.
  • Experience with skiing, racing, coaching, and certifications (USSA level/PSIA level).
  • Grew up skiing at Hickery Hills, club racing with GTSC, skied on TC West JV and Varsity teams, club ski racing at college. 4th year coaching with the GTSC.
  • Enjoys theater and dance. Currently in Shrek the Musical down at the Old Town Playhouse.



Monica Hessler

Hometown: Traverse City, MI
High School: Traverse City West Senior High
University: Michigan State University

I was raised on the ski hill in Traverse City for as long as I can remember. Every Sunday was spent racing with the Grand Traverse Ski Club and these are by far some of my favorite memories. As I reached middle school, I joined the middle school team and loved training at hickory. I finally reached high school and had the opportunity to race for Traverse City West Senior High. The fall of my freshman year of high school was the first time I went to Austria to train over Thanksgiving. This was the first time I really realized how much I loved skiing and I wanted to keep pushing myself to do better. My first year of high school racing opened my eyes to a new level. I saw where I wanted to be, and I knew that I had four years to get there. Over the next few years, I trained as much as I could with my team both in season and out. Every winter break, I volunteered for learn to ski at hickory. These experiences made up some of my favorite memories! Going into my junior year, I knew we had a great group of girls on my team. We finished the season as the Division I Team State Champions. This pushed me to keep working hard off season and I was eager for my senior year. As my senior year came along, I went to Austria for my fourth and final year to kick off my last season of racing. At the conclusion of senior year, I finished the season as the Big North Conference Champion, Division I Regional Slalom Champion and the Division I State Slalom Champion. I am currently a sophomore attending Michigan State University and majoring in Biomedical Laboratory Science and I am Pre-Med.


Christopher Wilde
Head Middle School Race Team Coach

HEAD RACE COACH Manistee Race Club – DEC. 1992 – MAR. 2000

GUEST RACE COACH Crystal Mountain – DEC.1993 – JAN . 2002

Traverse City West High School

Traverse City Central High School

The Leelanau School, Glen Arbor

SKI INSTRUCTOR – DEC. 1988 – MAR. 1990
Sugar Loaf Ski Resort Cedar, MI. 49621

Program Director- winter ‘89-‘90 ‘Learn to Ski, learn to Ski
better’ and Nastar Pacesetter- winter ‘90-‘91,’91-‘92

SKI INSTRUCTOR – NOV. 1990 – MAR. 1992
Homestead Resort, Glen Arbor

SKI INSTRUCTOR – DEC. 1977 – MAR. 1982
Holiday Hills Ski Area
Co-ski school director-winter ‘79-‘80, lift op., rental distribution, and ticket sales.

Full Certification Jan. 1990
Level II Jan. 1993

Zach Mikowski

Suttons Bay MI

I started ski racing in 6th grade. I continued throughout my high school career and loved every minute of it. After High school I worked at Bavarian Village as a ski tech. Years later I started coaching w/ Leelanau Ski club.

After a while I decided to head out west to live in the mountains and teach myself how to ski again. It was amazing! I recommend it to everyone who skis. After Living in CO I traveled the states in the winter time and continued to live in Leelanau for the summers. I had all but given up working in the ski industry when a friend phoned me saying he had a job for me. That call set in motion one of the most fantastic rides of my life, working with The US Ski Team. I worked as a Tech for the team for two seasons. It was fantastic. Traveling the globe and working w/ some of our nations now top skiers. Who knew working at Sugar Loaf would provide such a fun opportunity down the rd.

Glad to be part of the amazing staff at GTSC

Matthew Lowe

Traverse City, MI

Mathew attended Traverse City West Senior High where he skied four years of varsity on the Alpine race team and was part of a regional championship. Matthew now is studying at Grand Valley State University. His Interest outside of skiing include all sports, especially Track And Field.  He throws the Hammer, Javelin, and Weight at GVSU. Other interests include hunting fishing, cars, and motorcycles.

Jake Klein, Learn to Ski Coach

I’ve lived most of my life in Durham, North Carolina but picked up skiing when I moved to Elk Rapids five years ago. When I was in high school I raced on the Varsity Ski Team all four years and was a part of the only Elk Rapids team to win a Lake Michigan Conference title and go to the State Competition after finishing second in the Region. I currently attend the University of Michigan and study business there, hoping to become involved in the ski industry one day. When I’m not skiing I enjoy going outdoors, hiking, playing guitar, camping, and spending time with friends and family. While coaching I feel the most important aspect is to have a blast on the slopes and learning how to stay in control when shredding the hill!

Sean Wells

Sean was born and raised in Traverse City, went to school in Elk Rapids. He Started ski racing as a sophomore in high school and fell in love with it. This is Sean’s first year coaching. He is a Certified USSA Coach Level 100. When not skiing, he likes to snowmobile, fish, and just be outside and be active.

James Mikko

James graduated from Traverse City West High School in 2009 . James earned a 3 year letterman with his High school Ski Team. He currently studies Snow Science at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He has coached for the club since 2009 and has been skiing since age two. When not skiing, He enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, and camping.

Brittany Pack

Brittany was born and raised in Traverse City, MI. She attended Traverse City West Senior High, where she raced for the Titans. From there, she attended the University of Michigan and graduated with a BA in History and MA in Education. She has coached with the Grand Traverse Ski Club since 2008, and is USSA Level 100 certified. While racing is a great sport, Brittany enjoys trees, cliffs, and jumps as well.

Coach Brittany recently moved to Raleigh, NC, where she teaches at the Saint Mary’s School, but comes home for the holidays to coach at her favorite ski area, Hickory (which is saying a lot since she lived in Steamboat Springs, CO for two years)! She enjoys writing, running, fashion, rock climbing, fishing, and cuddling her dog, Moose.

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